2017-03-03 19:07:43 UTC
As fortune would have it, I was queueing to pass the traffic lights on
the A27, north of Shoreham Airport, at around 5pm this evening when the
results of the investigation into the air crash came on the radio. I
pass that way frequently and always remember but tonight it made my
blood run cold, to know I was sitting exactly where 11 men died that
I didn't see the crash but I did see the Vulcan. It was going to be its
second to last flight ever so I was waiting to see it, but it flew over
and tipped its wing, and then left the way it came
Oh god! What has happened?
Then I saw the smoke.
As much as we might have enjoyed the airshow, it has always made some
people in the immediate area nervous and I even know one family who make
a point of being away for the airshow weekend as they are so worried
that a plane will crash into the surrounding houses. And I always took
that as a gross over reaction, even though a few years previously a
plane crashed on the Downs just north of the site, narrowly missing
Lancing College and all its inhabitant but killing the pilot.
After that crash, they moved the show from September to August, during
the school holidays, so the children would not be present when the show
I guess that should have sounded even more alarm bells.
As should the fact that the Red Arrows have always refused to perform
due to the risk because of the site's location.
But people enjoyed the show, part of the heritage of the airport, so
year on year it has continued.
Anyway, so I was sitting at the traffic lights, listening to the radio
and what do they say? The pilot fucked up but no one knew what he was
going to do so no one assessed the risk of looping the loop over a busy
road. In fact no one assessed any of the risks - period.
The pilot just did as he fancied, and no one said - what if?
We have laws. We have commissions. We have regulations. We have
committees. But what is the point if they are not going to actually do
what they are supposed to do?
And who monitors that they are doing it?
There is talk of prosecuting the pilot, but what about those who did not
do their job to ensure should tragedy occur - and that would include
just a simple mechanical failure - that the plane would not plough into
a road chock-a-block with traffic or into the many houses that are
probably less than half a mile away from the runway and under the
We had no show this year, but many are hoping that it does come back, it
is history, our heritage - but how can we ever trust these people again?
I certainly won't.